Lots of comments coming in on our story about a prominent American Muslim scholar who says the proposed mosque near ground zero may be dangerously misguided and that American Muslims have failed to grasp how deeply the 9/11 attacks shook the U.S.
Here's a semi-representative cross-section.
From a Muslim reader:
I'm a Muslim and I don't like the radical Muslims but why would I want to kill anyone? I do try to educate, but it's a big world with over one billion Muslims. And why should people want to destroy this mosque? What is the purpose? What will they gain? Why is any violence necessary? I hate the actions of those who were responsible for 9/11. Unfortunately, they didn't ask my permission.
From an opponent of an Islamic center near ground zero who says she's not a bigot:
I do not think the Muslim community understands how angry people still are over this act. I am not a bigot and have worked in minority based jobs for years now; however, I would NOT put a mosque near the Twin Towers simply because it is too soon and people are still angry.
It many ways it reflects the same anti-American anger in other countries. Perhaps the mosque should be put elsewhere , not so close to the Twin Towers, so it won't cause as much controversy.
To imply that it is only bigots who are against it is very unfair. The fact is many people are still angry about what happened and do not want a reminder of those who crashed airplanes into buildings killing people simply because you have the right to do so. There are responsibilities in play here and the Muslim community would be better served to pay attention to those responsibilities.
Here's a Christian defender of the so-called ground zero mosque:
I teach in New York City, I am a Christian woman and the hate that flows over this issue is TOXIC. Let me point out that there are mosques throughout the five boroughs of New York City where devout Muslims try to lead good lives, condemn terrorism, work hard for the American Dream to ensure their sons and daughters are not exposed to the evil of terrorism.
The American public makes it really hard for a person who is tolerant of others and has never hurt anyone nor subscribed to radical Islamic beliefs to move forward. STOP STEREOTYPING.... THIS IS AMERICA....OUR COUNTRY IS BUILT ON DIVERSITY....For those backwood people who have no exposure to other cultures STOP EMBARRASSING YOURSELVES. A small portion of people did this...
The attacks have been condemned by the Islamic community repeatedly and if we are to move forward as a community we must learn from each other and accept differences, not be afraid of them. I welcome the mosque into that community.... just as I welcome them into the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens... It hurts me to see this issue even come up... The religion did not attack us.... idiots did....
Here's an unrepentant critic of Islam:
Here are a group of people that issue Fatwas of death against cartoonists and cartoon TV producers for depicting something that THEY believe should not be depicted. Yet, they are totally insensitive to the emotions and pleading of so many people hurt, directly or indirectly, by 9/11. 9/11 no matter how you look at it (radical fundamentalists or not) is inexorably linked with Islam.
Finally, this reader wants to turn the tables on Christian critics of how Muslims respond to Muslim terrorism:
Why doesn’t every Christian in the world put a stop to the Westboro Baptist Church? Why don’t they apologize for invading the middle east and slaughtering Muslims by the thousand during the Crusades? Why don’t they publically condemn the IRA every time a church is built in Belfast? Why doesn’t every Christian apologize to every kid ever molested by a priest?
Why? Because they didn’t have anything to do with those things, just like 99.9% of Muslims have nothing to do with terror attacks, and are just as victimized by it because ignorant people like you seem to believe all Muslims belong to the same secret club. Islam is just as diverse as Christianity, and shouldn’t be held to a different standard just because you are a bigot.
By the way, even though they had nothing to do with it, most Muslim groups actively denounce the terror attacks. If you did a two-minute google search, you’d know this.